“Borders are our red lines. Any enemy that invades these borders will not return,” IRGC commander Hossein Salami said after the attack.
“We don’t have any intention to go [to] war with any country, but we are completely ready for war,” he continued, adding that the downing sent “a clear message” to America.
US officials tell a different story.
They say the military drone was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial maritime passage for the global energy trade that’s aggressively patrolled by Iran, before the drone came crashing down.
“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesperson for US Central Command, said in a Thursday morning statement. “This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset in international airspace.”
The downed surveillance drone was an RQ-4A Global Hawk, Urban added, an aircraft that costs roughly $130 million.